Community shines through rainy weather

Often it is when things go exactly opposite as planned that true character is revealed.

Summerfest Krazy Dayz certainly lived up to its theme, throwing curve balls every which way, from a 250-plus acre fire on Friday to rain on the parade.

Did Dallas complain? Heck no. Dallas danced.

Friday’s fire was handled quickly, with poise and professionalism. Roughly 70 percent of those fighting the fire were volunteer firefighters from more than 15 different agencies, as far away as Lincoln and Linn counties. Wayne and Steve Roberts from McMinnville battled the blaze from above in a helicopter.

As the chopper refueled at Western Oregon University’s football field, the American Red Cross set up shelters at Central High School. Those shelters weren’t needed after all — thank goodness — but being prepared is always better than reacting to a potentially bad situation.

While firefighters from Dallas, Southwest Polk and Polk Fire District No. 1 were occupied, volunteers in Dallas kept Summerfest running smoothly.

Reluctantly, Friday evening activities organized by Dallas Fire were canceled. April Welsh, who coordinated the firefighting efforts as well as juggling media inquiries from at least four agencies, waited until after 5 p.m. before finally conceding that the highly anticipated return of hydrocarts would not go on as planned.

Saturday, the fire department was ready to go with excavation contests and leading the parade — in a pouring rainstorm, the first considerable rain the Willamette Valley has seen in weeks, if not months.

It takes everyone to have a party — volunteers, first responders and, perhaps most important, participants and spectators. What had been set out to shade people from sunshine doubled up as protection from the rain. This is Oregon, after all. If we canceled events because of the rain, we’d never have any events.

Parade goers and participants danced together in the downpour, welcoming the wetter, cooler weather.

Ready or not, volunteers stood their posts to help keep things moving smoothly.

Dallas’ mid-summer party continued without a hitch. Because when it rains, it pours. Except in Dallas, where when it rains, we shine.

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